Rakthashali Red Rice Kanji with Green Gram & Ridge Gourd Sides
With the rains coming to Kerala, Coimbatore has been enjoying the cool weather and some rains. From Bio basics office and our home, we can see the rich rain clouds raining their bounty across the mountains.( Time for us to visit Kerala!). We could feel the cool air this morning and wanted a change from our regular fruit breakfast! So we decided to fall back on to our next favorite option: Kanji made of Rakthashali red rice, with Pasi payaru (moong whole or green gram).
A Red Rice Kanji for Brunch
So here is our brunch: Red Rice Kanji with the super healthy, organic Rakthashali red rice ( mixed with some organic Paal thondi raw rice ), with a side of cooked pasi payaru with grated coconut, jeera, salt and pepper and my version of peerkan ( ridge gourd ) thugayil. I make my thugayil with no oil, just the veggie, coconut, a lot of curry leaves sauteed without oil and ground with tamarind and chillies. It is a completely oil-free meal, with low spice, healthy and delicious. The only item missing was some delicious roasted organic vadams. The meal is completely organic and has zero oil ( for those of you who want to eat no oil meals ). We didn’t plan for it to be so, it just happened.
Kanji might seem old-fashioned to many, however, it is a version of kanji we have when we do a fancy lentil soup or a sweet corn soup thickened with corn flour. In kanji we use red rice, one of the healthiest cereals and combine it with whole lentils and or sauteed vegetables. It cant get better than that. I can vouch for the taste as well!
Rakthashali Red Rice is a rare medicinal rice (used as raw rice as is the case with all medicinal rice), much known for its medicinal qualities, used since 3000 years in ancient India. It is known for its properties and its ability to pacify all the three doshas ( vata, pitta, kapha). This means that even according to the exacting standards of Ayurveda, this is an ideal food. Rakthashali is believed to have properties to slow down aging and is rich in antioxidants and minerals. Normally we have Kanji with Rakthashali alone which is quite delicious and healthy. Thankfully some farmers have taken on the onus of reviving this rare rice.
How Rakthashali got mixed with Paal thondi
This time it became a mixed rice Kanji. The mixing happened accidentally; the rice got mixed while traveling from Kozhikode, the farmers place, to Bio Basics, Coimbatore. So we applied the adage that when life hands you lemons make lemonade. And what a lemonade we got. Our Raktashali mixed rice is a combination of 90% Rakthashali red rice mixed with about 10% of Paal thondi, a white thondi variety of rice which is soft to cook and eat. The result is a great, organic, red and white rice mix, which works perfectly !!
Do try the Rakthashali kanji ( mixed rice or plain Rakthashali red rice) on a cool. cloudy day or when you feel a little below the weather. It can be a dinner when you don’t want to eat anything heavy. Our traditional rice is our treasure trove of health and taste. It is for us to adopt them, the farmers have already done it! Welcome to the rich, diverse world of traditional, organic rice and delicious and healthy meals!!